This quick and easy salad is a good way to add whole grain into your diet. Even though quinoa is technically a seed, it provides all the goodness of whole grains. Experiment with flavor and ingredients until you find your favorites. Quinoa should be rinsed before cooking even if it says it is pre-rinsed or the package directions don’t include rinsing. Be sure to use a fine mesh strainer because individual quinoa seeds are really small. (I used a mesh reusable drip coffee filter, but a disposable one would work too). Black beans add protein but aren’t necessary. Substitute other beans such as chick peas if desired. Add chopped cucumbers, chopped parsley, coarsely chopped broccoli, bell pepper, spinach, avocado, etc. to make it your own. Use your favorite made from scratch salad dressing, just experiment and enjoy.
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
2 cups water
1 bunch green onions, finely chopped
2 handfuls grape tomatoes, halved
1 can black beans, drained
¼ cup Italian salad dressing, more or less for desired consistency
salt & pepper to taste, approximately 1 teaspoon each
1-2 tablespoons minced garlic to taste, optional
Additional seasonings as desired
Add quinoa and water to a medium saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until all the water is absorbed, about 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit for about 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Add quinoa and gently mix well. Refrigerate at least 1 hour or overnight. The longer it sits, the more the flavors will meld.